Hindu Yamas and Niyamas and the Ten Commandments

Some time ago I wrote about the similarities between Hinduism and Mystic Judaism.I thought that it might be interesting to look at the similarities and differences between Judaism’s ten commandments and the Hindu yamas (restraints) and niyamas (observances). I made a diagram, which is not very easy to publish on WordPress. The best I can do is make a pdf version available and insert an image. You will have to click on the image to see the whole thing, and possibly zoom in :

yama-commandments

I have used solid lines where there is a direct connection or even equivalence, and dotted lines where there is some sort of relation. The crossing lines can be a little confusing, follow the horizontal line from a box as far as possible to a corner.

The red line marks a connection that is not direcly connected by the niyama. Worship of the Lord in Hinduism does permit the use of iconic images or murtis (see Icons not Idols). Hindu traditions see one God with lesser created God’s, equivalent to archangels, as I described in One God or many Gods, a Shaiva Perspective.

It is interesting to note that there are three of the Jewish commandments that only have indirect connections,

  1. “You shall have no other gods before me; You shall not make for yourself an idol”, as described above.
  2. “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy”. I have connected this with the daily japa, on the basis that Hinduism does not generally see one day as holier than others. Different traditions have different holy days, Shaivas have Mondays and/or Fridays.
  3. “Honor your father and mother”, which has a link to vows, rules and observances as honouring parents is a duty. Though not in the yamas or niyamas honouring parents is likened to honouring God.

(You may freely use the chart and information on this post, though please reference this post).

28 responses to “Hindu Yamas and Niyamas and the Ten Commandments

  1. chris

    the second commandment has no place in hindu
    spirituality. its this commandment which sets apart
    abrahamic religions from heathen religions like hinduism.
    i am hindu from india. all the hatred which abrahamic
    religions have thrown at the pagan religions of the world
    flows from this second commandment. muslims have destroyed thousands of hindu temples taking inspiration from this second commandment. also hindu
    concept of divine is vastly different from abrahamic concept.
    so the equation Jewish LORD = hindu LORD is problematic.
    why dont you just stick with indian (sanskrit) terms when you
    describe hindu divine .

    • Sir,

      One thing which is not clear is: have you read Sanskrit yourself? I mean – have you went through Isha Upanishad; Kena Upanishad & Yajur Veda? It very beautifully ascertains First 2 commandments. (Puranas have confused hindus and they are mostly misleading.)

      If you haven’t read earlier, please go and read.
      If you have read earlier, please read Parapuja by Adi Shankaracharya

      The concept of idol worship in Hinduism is explained by a Chinese scholar – Huston Smith. He writes:

      Enter Hinduism’s myths, her magnificent symbols, her several hundred images of God, her rituals that keep turning night and day like never-ending prayer wheels. It is obtuse to confuse Hinduism’s images with idolatry, and their multiplicity with polytheism. They are ‘runways’ from which the sense-laden human spirit can rise for its “flight of the alone to the Alone”. Even village priest will frequently open their temple ceremonies with the following beloved invocation:

      O Lord, forgive three sins that are due to my human limitations:
      Thou art everywhere, but I worship you here;
      Thou art without form, but I worship you in these forms;
      Thou needest no praise, yet I offer you these prayers and salutations,
      Lord, forgive three sins that are due to my human limitations.

      – World’s religion by Huston Smith.

      Muslims and Christians did not destroy Hinduism because of idol worship. They destroyed it because of their hatred towards others. They hate Jews too. Why were Jews hated? Were they too pagans? If paganism means to worship man made idols, then Christians too are pagans since they worship idol of Jesus in churches. (According to some scholars, Jesus is Egyptian Sun GOD – Horus, Sumerian Goddess – Isis Chrest, Persian Sun GOD – Mithra and Indian Krishna + Buddha.) The hatred did not spring from hindu paganism but from islamic racism.

      You said Hindu Lord = Jewish Lord is problematic. This problem arises from changing views. Anything looked from TOP is different than same thing looked from FRONT and further different from BACK view. Similarly, Hindus and Jews look at same reality from different perspective.

      By the way, why have you named yourself as Isaac Newton? Do you know that he was fraud? His mathematical series was copied from works of Baudhayana & Madhvacharya. Gravitation was already spread by Brahmagupta & Bhaskara. Calculus copied from Aryabhata. You can read their actual Sanskrit books to know in detail. Also, his approximation works were copied from several European mathematicians.

  2. issacnewton,
    I take your point. I had put a red line with that connection because there is only a tenuous and probably controversial link, where most traditions do distinguish a great lord.

    Of all the commandments this is the one that I would be happy to say is not covered in Hinduism. I use non-sanskrit terms because I think a lot of my readers will not be familiar with sanskrit. I do agree that the term “Lord” is not as precise as the possible sanskrit translations (Ishvara, Swami, Mahadeva, Bhagwan, Paramatman), but these terms would not mean much to some of my readers. It does raise the problem that I may be using a selective translation of the word “Lord”, I will consider that.
    Thanks
    Chris

  3. I can understand that the use of non-Sanskrit terms may not be technically correct, but I appreciate the use of English words that convey a similar meaning as I am just learning. It is easier for me to grasp a concept in simple layman’s terms first and then move on to the more complex philosophical issues with appropriate Sanskirt terminology at a later time. Thank you.

  4. Dear All
    I have spent the last 25 years researching the philo roots of the Jews.

    Please visit
    http://www.equalitybasedonthesoul.com
    http://www.equalsouls.org

    Seems Jews and Hindus are the same religion from the time of creation, time has changed the language and customs but the core is the same.

    Thanks
    William Glick

  5. Thanks Rosewillow, I will continue to use a mixture of both.

  6. issacnewton,
    Your comment prompted me to look at the original wording of the second commandment in an interlinear bible, to see the meaning of the original Hebrew. It turns out that what is translated in English as “I am the Lord your God” says “I am YHVH your Gods”. Now modern Jews put the plural used for God in the bible down to the “royal we”. I have heard that the old testament is totally consistent with YHVH, the god of the Jews, saying that he was to be the Ishta Deva (cherished form of God) of the Jewish people.

    This view of Judaism, as a religion for the people of Judea, is of course rejected by Christians and Muslims, but it makes a lot of sense of the way the Jews acted historically. They never criticised other people for worshiping God in other forms, their argument with the Romans was because they wanted to dominate them and force them to acknowledge Caesar as God.

    Thank you for reminding me to check the original terms, use of English for the Jewish scriptures is as crude a translation as for the Hindu ones.

    Chris

  7. William,
    For some reason your comment arrived after the ones showing “later” in the list. Those are some very interesting sights.
    Chris

  8. Chris
    The comments from Isaacnewton are touching upon the problem. First, someone not using their real name and then teaching someone the correct use of words might diminish credibility. There is no ‘God’ in Hinduism, there is Ultimate reality and Mahadevas. This “God” reflects “one”, another reason for “hatred” expressed in “Isaac” comment, and in Hinduism ultimate reality is “0”, and thus the improper use of divisions ‘Isaac’ spoke of ending in war, etc. A major point.
    It is discussions like these which tend to further confuse the religiously naive, as seen in another comment where a reader accepted “similar” words. We tend to mix generalities and specifics which are not usually helpful but just promote delusional thinking. Don’t be lazy, use the correct Sanskrit with an explanation. Otherwise people start being universalist/fundamentalist. Most religions offer a moral and ethical, code as one purpose of religion is to guide one in the laws of nature, beginning at the very mundane/worldly plane we must initially “get right.” There are many other slippery slopes in making these comparisons, as ‘Isaac’ pointed out, another is Ahimsa is (non-harming) is different than “#6″, Hindu religion recognizes death/killing, as discussed here, is inescapable, part of duality…we are” killing” as we sit here…as we breath, digest, etc. Also, someone with the name “Chris” would not be a “follower of “Sanatana Dharma”,only a Hindu would. ‘Studying’ Sanatana Dharma,” anyone can do.
    Yati Deva Sivam

  9. Dear William Glick
    How do you know this,”Jews and Hindus are the same religion from the time of creation” ? Their core/path is different and end goal is different.

  10. Thanks Yati,
    You say that there is no God in Hinduism, just ultimate reality. I would say rather that some Hindus believe that there is no God, just ultimate reality. This is primarily the view of Advaita Vedantas, the Smarta view. The school that I am studying with is a Shaiva school, and Shaivas and Vishnavas do believe in the reality of God.

    I agree that we should not confuse people, and as far as I know I have used Sanskrit words with explanations. I use non-Hindu terms as well, as do many others (“Lord Shiva” has 641,000 google hits).

    I am well aware of the inappropriateness of my name, and I think that when the time is right I will change it. This has to be a considered move though, probably when have a guru for guidance. I do consider myself as a Hindu, though an imperfect one with much to learn
    Namaste
    Chris

  11. Chris
    I disagree with you on “some Hindus believe that there is no God, just ultimate reality. This is primarily the view of Advaita Vedantas, the Smarta view. The school that I am studying with is a Shaiva school, and Shaivas and Vishnavas do believe in the reality of God.” First, ask your teachers, I presume this notion is from them, where the vedas speak of “god.” Once we belive in “one” God that excludes others and back into inevitable pitfalls of Monotheism. Hindus with less forsight adopted these incorrect words to assimulate, with the same mistaken notion as you said earlier about using words to be “familiar”…everyone gets confused-Hindus and non-Hindus.There are correct (Sanscrit)words to describe Nirguna Brahman and then comes Saguna and spiritual “Beings” (verb) vs god(noun). Furthermore, an open Hindu mind realizes there is truth in AV and Saiva,Vish., Smarta and do not forget the fourth sect – Saktites. This truth is , many Hindus may choose/seek an Istadevata, Siva for Saivites, Vishnu for Vaish., etc., but recognize there still is an Ult. Reality. We live in duality and are duality, so our particular Mahadevas are here to guide us. As a Saivite, I do not believe in “God.” Granted, a universalist/fundamentalist Saivite, Vais., etc. might disagree and then they enter Monotheism and all that comes with that immature understanding…beware. Hinduism is more polymorphic/monism and not Monotheism. What Shaiva school are you studying with, perhaps I can see them on web?

    Google ‘hits’ are not a good argument to prove validity on mass delusion. Surely racist sights, child porn, etc., get many ‘hits’.

    Discriminate, as they say, state the facts, which is fine, you are a Christian, not following ones religion, until you convert to Hinduism. Your name changes AFTER converting. A proper teacher and Guru will always make this clear. Study all you want, but as Patanjali states in Yoga Sutras, I9, “knowledge(words) devoid of facts is delusion.” You can become an English Hindu. One is a country the other is religion, two diffferent.
    We are all “imperfect,” that’s why we are here. We both learn from these discussions-thanks.

  12. hi chris
    thanks for response. may be jews have different understanding of the second commandment but the way christians and muslisms see it, it has had devastating impact on heathen religions of the world. i think there is something profoundly unnatural about christianity and islam. the natural spiritual state of any society has always been some form of heathenism.
    there is some truth to what yati is saying. here’s one nice article i found on net.
    http://www.dechurched.com/eastern.html
    author seems to be some christian pastor. there he talks about the meeting between British anglican priest and a japanese shinto priest. read it. like the author says the whole
    paradigms are different. there is deep gulf between religions like christianity, islam and pagan religions.
    please also read very good articles by Belgium based hindu scholar S.N.Balagangadhara here
    http://balagangadhara.org/
    Also you can read this work by Dr Ananda Kentish
    Coomaraswamy
    http://www.attan.com/hindu.pdf
    The title of this book is “Hinduism and Buddhism”
    and the author shows how Buddhist philosophy is same as Upanisadic philosophy. Its written more than 70 years ago by world known hindu scholar whose father was sri lankan
    and mother was english.
    The same author has written another book called
    ” Buddha and the Gospel of Buddhism” .Its available at
    http://www.archive.org/details/Buddha
    AndTheGospelOfBuddhism
    and
    http://www.archive.org/details/buddhaandthe
    gosp028023mbp

    in this book read the chapter
    “Buddhism and Bramhanism”
    Here you can see very penetrating analysis of Buddhist
    philosophy from Hindu perspective.

    Also there is another book available online but which the website charges to read the book.
    “A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy” by Sharma
    http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=6077639

    especially the chapter on “Buddhism and Vedanta” here too.

    There seems to be misunderstanding among lot of western scholars on buddhism that somehow buddhism was a revolt
    against Hindu philosophy. Above mentioned books by
    Dr Coomaraswamy and Dr Sharma should give reply
    to such views. Its an intellectual feat to read such
    books/articles.
    Lot of hindus themselves do not understand finer points
    of hindu religion. Even I dont know lot of things. The problem with english terms like “God”, is that they carry heavy christian baggage. Its like Muslims using the word “peace”. The very fact that Muslims are a minority community could mean to them that there is no peace.
    The very fact that muslims are a minority community
    in some country could be oppressing to them. So what I am saying is that even though we could be using same words
    we probably mean entirely different things by them.

  13. yati,
    Thanks for your comment.

    I disagree with you on “some Hindus believe that there is no God, just ultimate reality. This is primarily the view of Advaita Vedantas, … First, ask your teachers, I presume this notion is from them, where the vedas speak of “god.” Once we belive in “one” God that excludes others and back into inevitable pitfalls of Monotheism.

    I think I understand now. I thought you were talking about the impersonalist view of Smartas and Vedantists, who think that the ultimate reality is impersonal; Shaivas and Vishnavas believe that ultimate reality has both personal and impersonal properties. Shaivas of the Nandinatha Sampradaya see the impersonal unmanifest as Parashiva, the personal unmanifest as Parashakti and the primal form of Shiva as Parameshvara.

    Discriminate, as they say, state the facts, which is fine, you are a Christian, not following ones religion, until you convert to Hinduism. Your name changes AFTER converting.

    I am a on a spiritual path, and really labels don’t matter that much. I suspect that most Christians would say that someone who performs japa daily, honours Shiva as Lord, tries to observer the niyamas and conform to the yamas, regularly calls on Lord Ganesh for help, and is a paid up member of a Mandir worshiping there weekly is not a Christian. I certainly

    Namaste
    Chris

  14. issacnewton,
    Thanks for your comment. I have always seen Buddhism as having a common philosophy to Hinduism. I will have to check out your links when you have time.
    Chris

  15. “I am a on a spiritual path, and really labels don’t matter that much.”
    The word “spiritual” means incorporeal (w/o form/non-matter), a “path” is form. One can not be just “spiritual” until the body is left…by one means or the other. One can be religious AND spiritual. A “path” is a religion or form. To be serious, one needs to commit to one religion/path of their choosing. If not believing in present religion, responsibility, both morally and ethically, is to detach from that religion based on the criteria to do so of original religion and then properly convert by the prescribed means of new religion. To be truely on a “path”, be committed, it is not a wishy-washy endeavor to reach deep realizations. Just like on wordly plane we can not marry another till orignal is legally divorced. One does not have two wives, one wife and a girlfriend or a practicing Med. Dr. and a Elec. Engineer,etc…the committment is to intense in certain aspects of life…religion is one of these aspects.
    As to your coment on “labels”…this is fuzzy new-age type non-sense. You are apparently a serious religious/spiritual seeker, so “discriminate, reason, judge” as Patanjali and Rishis before him prescribed over and over again. We become “master” of the mundane before going deeper. How would you like the Pharmacist to fill your prescription from a room full or un-labeled jars or try going to supermarket with no “labels.” If, when ready, proudly declare yourself a Hindu by properly converting. Explore other religions is one thing and praticing it properly is another. “Lord” (a Christian word, for Jesus, “The Lord of Lords”) Ganesha??? Mahadeva Ganesha works intently for Hindus. Just like any Spiritual being does for its “”Family” members. Just as we are far more concerned for someone in our earthly family than anothers. I do not expect to have a serious relationship with Jesus or Angels or Allah as a Hindu. It is said, the spiritual plane is a mirror image of this one.
    The Buddha, was a practicing Hindu ascetic, lived as a Hindu and died a Hindu. His followers took his enlightened teachings of Hinduism and created a division over time,(sound like another major religion?) same old knee jerk reaction by less Enlightened followers with an agenda.
    Yati

  16. Chris
    An additional note on your dislike of “labels”…why “label”
    Parashiva, Parashakti Shiva, Parameshvara…why talk, why write words?
    Also, quikly read some of your other posts, not agreeing with everything, your earnest exploration of the dharma and religious/spiritual evolutuion is shared. Hope to continue these discussions with you.
    Yati

  17. Yati,
    I agree with you on needing to commit to a religion. As far as labels is concerned I mean that what I do and believe matters more that what anyone chooses to call me.

  18. The experience to be learned/examined is to ask oneself if what one is “labeled” is correct or incorrect. As pointed out earlier, as long as we are in duality using words/”labels” correctly is discrimination (viveka) and sound reasoning (vitarka). That with sound judgement (vicara), according to Hindu thinking, is first stages on rel/spirit path. Without those we end in delusion or at best lmt. insights. You do not “need to commit to a rel.” but untill then you are a Christian, not Hindu and depth/results of commitment is different. This is why words are used very carefully, like God, Lord, Yoga, labels,etc., until one is in state truely beyond that. At the moment, neither of us are obviously there. Powererful week coming up, especially for Saivites, as we move towards Thai Poosam and…warriors on this Hindu path.
    Om

  19. I wanted to thank you for this blog, which I’ve been following for a while. I am European, married for many years to an Indian Hindu. I had no strong connection to the religion of my birth, and so gladly took up his religion, going to the local temple, learning the prayers, reading the Gita, and so on. It was not until many years later that I discovered, after being barred from entering certain temples in India, that westerners are not allowed to be Hindu. (I will say that I was wearing a sari, a bindi, the mangal sutra, toe rings, was in a prayerful state of mind, and then this. I did not expect to be welcomed with a shower of rose petals. I only wanted to offer prayers, have a good darshan.)

    Since then, I have been very ambivalent. Are we westerners welcome in Hinduism or not? There is no clear answer. Many say yes, many say no.

    I would be very interested in Yati’s thoughts on this issue.

  20. C. Sankar
    Please understand, I make no claim to be an expert on conversion nor Hinduism…humbly sharing opinion/observations. The harmful “ambivilance”/confusion is from those individuals you encountered, not Hinduism. “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” as Westerners certainly can be Hindu…one is a religion the other Nationality. If you love and have Faith in Hinduism, and converted for right reasons, you may see through the ignorance, self-infatuation/glorification, prejudice, etc. of others, whether in the guise of a a Pujari, Swami, Pundit, Guru, etc., and recognize that it does not come from Hinduism but the unevolved human. Those same people who barred you from Mandirs probably mis-use/interpret the Varna Dharma (twisted for personal gain and incorrectly referred to the “caste” system) to justify more of their unrefined ego/actions. Your strength as a Hindu, ultimately must be established from “with-in.” As a Caucasian American, I converted to Hinduism several years ago. Prior to conversion, did a yatra alone through Tamil Nadu…visited, often for extended periods and received warmly in all the many dozens of Mandirs visited. Later, as a Hindu, did yatra in Trinidad with equal reception and respect, as well as Mandirs in USA. There are and always will be immature souls in Hinduism, just as in all religious/secular traditions. If Hindus or anyone else were perfect, there would be no need for religion or perhaps even this world. Hinduism, as a religion, however, offers a path for those Hindus, whether born into, adoptee or converts, ready to evolve and obviously not all do, as some of your experiences demonstrate. An argument for conversion is reincarnation and who is to say we do not have rebirths within rebirths, the story of Tirumular is one example in Hindu scripture.
    Jai Ganesh!
    Yati

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  22. @C Sankar & @yati:
    As a born Indian Hindu raised in a fairly religious brahmin family, I can say with certainty that conversion is allowed, although seldom practiced, if the conversion is done with true faith. Even such things as the “Varna Dharma” are misinterpreted – if I remember correctly, there is even Vedic evidence of the “caste” system being much more flexible – and not the mess it has become today, so that should be no excuse for stopping conversion. Another reason why Indians are sometimes hostile to Westerners is because Christian missionaries from the West in India are some of the most brutal godless people you’ll never want to meet – harming nonbelievers is a common practice. There are few kind missionaries in India, and as a result there has developed a kind of mistrust of Westerners in religious places. They feel threatened by such things as, for example, an attempt to build a large-scale church at the site of the current Tirupathi mandir.

  23. I will say that I am from a Vaishnava tradition, and while I am not a Gaudiya Vaishnava as ISKCON is, I will say that many Vaishnavas have grown more tolerant of Westerners out of necessity due to their increasing presence thanks to ISKCON and similar organziations which actively recruit non-South-Asian non-Hindus to join the movement and do a full conversion.

  24. “You shall have no other gods before me; You shall not make for yourself an idol”.

    Hinduism states that God takes up any form the devotee wishes (in line with ‘all’s fair in love and war’, the worship being one form of love). One such story – http://aboutreligionphilosophy.blogspot.com/2009/12/variars-buffalo.html .
    Every religion says God loves man, if so, why won’t he take up the form that man chooses for Him or believes Him to be?. And here’s another argument, every religion says God is omnipresent, if so wouldn’t he be in the pillar and statues? As a common man, I am skeptical if God could be so insecure to have said the above commandment.

    I use to joke that the followers/founders of Hinduism were a bit more liberal in choosing forms for Him ;-). But the truth is the forms were well thought out and carry deeper mystical truths eg.Linga

    Regarding conversions:
    There isn’t any formality in Hinduism for conversion like baptism or sunnath. And there is no authority like church priest etc who will convert you. In hinduism, the priest has no authority like christianity/Islam and is mostly ignored.
    I really doubt if the hindu priest who converts you will know more about hinduism than you people. Adi Shankara had an humiliating encounter – http://www.hindupedia.com/en/Adi_Shankara#Some_Anecdotes and http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=180&page=27
    Hinduism is more a personal religion according to me.

  25. Thank you Chris for the effort in drawing out that chart. There will always be much controversy on Word meanings and definitions when it comes to translations.

    To a large degree it reaffirms my understanding that Hinduism is “like” a superset of religions. You will find something similar within it no matter what other religion you pick to compare it with. So Thank you :).

  26. Well I consider there are three levels of devotions. The three levels of spiritual quests.

    1. Quest for material Gains. This still purifies the human and makes him worthy of the second one. Deities are worshiped as one of the forms of God. Some people make Idols.

    2. Quest for heavens. Certainly better than the first one. Abrahamic religions are yes better than blind Idol worship.

    3. Quest for the Absolute – The Ultimate Reality or the ultimate truth.

    So, my answer will be:
    Shoot for the stars, even if you miss, you can easily land up on the moon.

    ====****====
    Now none of these is rejected but yes part of them are un-aware of the right path.

    1. Quest for material gains:

    BG- III

    10. With sacrifice the Lord of creatures of old created creatures and said: By this shall you bring forth (fruits or offspring), let this be your milker of desires.

    11. Foster by this the gods and let the gods foster you; fostering each other, you shall attain to the supreme good.

    12. Fostered by sacrifice the gods shall give you desired enjoyments: who enjoys their given enjoyments and has not given to them, he is a thief.

    13. The good who eat what is left from the sacrifice, are released from all sin; but evil are they and enjoy sin who cook (the food) for their own sake.

    BG – IX
    23. Even those who sacrifice to other godheads with devotion and faith, they also sacrifice to Me, O son of Kunti, though not according to the true law.

    24. It is I myself who am the enjoyer and the Lord of all sacrifices, BUT THEY DO NOT KNOW ME IN TRUE PRINCIPLE and hence they fall.

    But criticized:

    21. Whatever form of Me any devotee with faith desires to worship, I make that faith of his firm and undeviating.

    22. He endowed with that faith worships that form; and when by the force of that faith in his cult and worship he gets his desires, it is I myself who (in that form) give these fruits.

    23. But these fruits are temporary, sought after by those who are of petty intelligence and unformed reason. To the gods go the worshippers of the gods, but my devotees come to Me.

    24. Petty minds think of Me, the unmanifest, as being limited by manifestation, because they know not my supreme nature of being, imperishable, most perfect.

    25. Nor am I revealed to all, enveloped in My Yoga-maya; this bewildered world knows Me not, the unborn, the imperishable.

    2. Quest for Heavens:

    BG-VIII

    16. The highest heavens of the cosmic plan are subject to a return to rebirth, but, O Kaunteya, there is no rebirth imposed on the soul that comes to Me (the
    Purushottama).

    BG-IX
    20. The Knowers of the triple Veda, who drink the soma-wine, purify themselves from sin, worshipping Me with sacrifice, pray of Me the way to heaven: they
    ascending to the heavenly worlds by their righteousness enjoy in paradise the divine feasts of the gods.

    21. They, having enjoyed heavenly worlds of larger felicities, the reward of their good deeds exhausted, return to mortal existence. Resorting to the virtues
    enjoined by the three Vedas, seeking the satisfaction of desire, they follow the cycle of birth and death.

    22. To those men who worship Me making Me alone the whole object of their thought, to those constantly in Yoga with Me, I spontaneously bring every good.

    ========****===========

    21. Whatever form of Me any devotee with faith desires to worship, I make that faith of his firm and undeviating.

    22. He endowed with that faith worships that form; and when by the force of that faith in his cult and worship he gets his desires, it is I myself who (in that form) give these fruits.

    23. But these fruits are temporary, sought after by those who are of petty intelligence and unformed reason. To the gods go the worshippers of the gods, but my devotees come to Me.

    24. Petty minds think of Me, the unmanifest, as being limited by manifestation, because they know not my supreme nature of being, imperishable, most perfect.

    25. Nor am I revealed to all, enveloped in My Yoga-maya; this bewildered world knows Me not, the unborn, the imperishable.

    ============

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